Leaders of various national parties have supported the demand of restoration of Jammu and Kashmir’s statehood, and elections in the former state, without any further delay. They have also decided to visit Srinagar in May to assure people of their support.
An all-party delegation from Jammu and Kashmir led by Farooq Abdullah held a meeting with the opposition leaders in Delhi before they visited the Election Commission of India to submit a memorandum demanding assembly elections.
Shard Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party said that leaders from all opposition parties will be visiting Srinagar to share the pain of the people of Jammu and Kashmir, and also give them assurances of support.
Mr Pawar was among several senior leaders from national parties including the Congress, DMK, TMC, CPIM, RJD, SP, AAP and other parties who met with a delegation from the erstwhile state at the Constitutional Club in Delhi.
After meeting with the ECI, Farooq Abdullah said that the poll panel has assured that they will take necessary steps for holding elections.
Mr Abdullah said that all parties want elections and there is no reason for delaying polls, which are long overdue.
Jammu and Kashmir is without an elected government for the last five years. The last assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir were held in 2014.
Since the revocation of its special status, this is the first such attempt by Jammu and Kashmir leaders to galvanise support from opposition parties from across the country for the restoration of statehood and democracy in the region. In August 2019, Jammu and Kashmir was stripped off its statehood and its unique constitutional position under Article 370 was revoked by the central government.
Jammu and Kashmir is under direct central rule and without an elected government since June 2018, after the BJP withdrew its support to the PDP-led coalition government in the state.
The Farooq Abdullah-led delegation is an important development in Jammu and Kashmir’s political landscape as well. Transcending regional fault lines, this is for the first time when parties from Jammu region have also joined hands with National Conference and the PDP on major political issues.